The first 21 years of my life were pretty average in the fitness department.
In fact, that lack of physical activity led to some pretty average results in other areas of my life, too.
I played hockey, but not at a high level nor much past age 14.
I sought satisfaction from video games and food rather than athletics and friendships.
It culminated with me tipping the scales as a 250 lb prep cook at age 21.
But I found my spark 12 or so years ago, and haven’t looked back since. It’s never too late to start. That is the just of this article, but let me share how I went from Body A to Body B over the last decade.
The transition from marginally obese to semi-fit DID NOT happen over night.
The first three months or so I did lose a little weight. My body changed some, but it wasn’t much. I was looking a bit better and feeling better. But I didn’t have a clue.
The victory in those three months was not my results, but how I learned to not give up. And believe me, there were plenty of times when I wanted to give up.
I remember thinking every dietary slip up would lead to my doom, and falsely though a few lbs on the scale the next day meant I gained back all the weight I start with (not so, Mr. Water Weight).
But as time passed, the “obligation” to exercise became a “desire” to go.
I’m not sure when it happened, but there came a point when I realized I would never quit and fitness would be a part of my life in one way or another until the day I day.
The look was secondary to the confidence that came with it, and instead of measurable goals (which I still set) my biggest success hurdle to get over was embracing the lifestyle of fitness FOR LIFE.
When you establish the habit of exercise, there’s nothing stopping you. You then make the choice to eat healthier on the whole as well, and it cascades into healthier choices throughout.
But you don’t have to be ALL IN or ALL OUT. A “fun” meal can certainly fit into a healthy lifestyle.
The problem with most people who start and fail is they see momentary lapses in judgment or missed workouts as major setbacks, when really they are just small speed bumps on the way to your goal.
And so, years later, I reflect on what fitness has done for my life and I want the same for you.
The first 21 years of my life were pretty “meh.” I didn’t accomplish much. I had little ambition to go after what I truly wanted in life. Fitness changed all that. Fitness gave me the confidence to pursue my goals and make a real impact.
I’m certainly not done. I have others’ lives to impact, and personal goals still to achieve in and outside of the gym. Fitness helps me accomplish them.
But, let’s not sugarcoat it: If you’re ready to slay the weight loss dragon and get in shape for good, you’re going to have to work for it.
It takes hard work to pass on that second piece of cake and go for a jog instead. It takes hard work to pass on that box of donuts making the rounds at the office and opt for your lunch box meal instead. It takes hard work to get up and go to the gym on a cold winter’s morning.
It’s not just the physical exertion, but the mental fortitude that’s required to overcome a constant barrage of obstacles and get in your best shape possible.
But the success here parlays into success in your family and career life. Many a career has been advanced by first adopting a fitness regimen. You’ll be an active parent, not a spectator. Exercise has a host of benefits (but you already knew that), can boost your cognitive capabilities (brain grey matter!) and reduce stress.
Ultimately, losing considerable weight involves not just a short term goal but a long term focus with a mental change.
Don’t see your weight loss goal as something you can achieve in 30 or 60 days and then go back to your old habits. You need to become the person you envision in every way if you want this for life.
P.S. I may be opening up another round of my Mansformation Challenge (watch the video below for details).
If you want help with that first push, or have genuine interest in the Mansformation, fill out this survey so I can understand where you’re at and we’ll talk. It could be just the spark you need.